Environmental Health in Israel | 2014

Specific recommendations include:  Environmental health legislation and standards in Israel need to be enforced. A recurring theme in this report is that there are major challenges in enforcement of environmental health legislation and standards (e.g., smoking in public places, pesticides use in agricultural and non-agricultural settings, and contaminants in consumer products).  Health impact assessments need to be conducted, as well as environmental impact assessments, when planning development. In a small and dense country such as Israel mindful planning can reduce environmental health problems.  Databases on environmental and human monitoring should be created, maintained, and shared. Extensive databases available in HMOs on health endpoints relevant to environmental health should be made available for researchers in this field.  The Israeli Ministry of Health should develop a strategic plan for biomonitoring, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and NGOs. Chemicals of concern include those in commerce, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. Israel needs qualified analytical laboratories for biomonitoring key analytes in biological media, such as cotinine and pesticides.  Alternatives should be examined for safety before replacing chemicals of concern. Some of these chemicals of concern include BPA, phthalates, PFCs, and flame retardants. The current regulatory framework, in which the Minister of Economy has authority over standards with major public health implications, should be reconsidered.  Additional environmental health data should be collected. Data are lacking in Israel on trends in sperm quality and age of thelarche, impact of environmental contaminants on ADHD and IQ, and data on BFRs in indoor environments. Children are our future. Increased efforts should be made to monitor their exposures to environmental contaminants (biomonitoring, monitoring of indoor air and pesticides in schools and daycare centers), and to prevent their exposure to environmental contaminants, especially indoor and outdoor air pollution, pesticides, environmental tobacco smoke, and chemicals in consumer products and food. - 91 - Conclusions and Recommendations

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